What movie made the biggest impact on you this year? Describe the feeling upon leaving the theater (…or sitting on your couch).
My husband introduced me to the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” I reluctantly watched the movie but feel in love with it. I felt a connection to some of the characters in their quest for finding a more economic place to retire and enjoy their retirement years. Then the sequel, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, became available. We purchased both to add to our movie library. They are both fun movies, and we go to them often when there is nothing worth watching on cable.
The official website provides the following synopsis of the first movie. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to ‘outsource’ their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.”
And the sequel’s website provides the following: “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself.”
Both movies have many life lessons to share. The sequel has touched me the most. At the end Muriel writes a letter to the young couple, Sonny and Sunaina, as they are celebrating their wedding at the newly acquired second hotel. A line from the letter “…written from the heart to the children I never had…,” touched mine. I will explain why shortly.
As she is delivering the letter, the business man whom she and Sonny had a meeting with at the beginning of the movie has arrived at the first hotel. They exchange dialog and she ask why he really has come to the hotel. He says “To pay my respect to you. There is nothing I admire more than someone planting trees under whose shade they may never get to sit.” Her response “But others will. That’s what counts.” This hit home to me.
This is what I hope to do, plant trees at work with the younger individuals I help each day, and also with the young individuals in my family.